Deputy Jake Johnson and K-9 Ghost during the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office swearing in ceremony held Jan. 23 at the Chisago County Jail. The swearing in was for all new and promoted employees from 2019.

K-9 Ghost trained for narcotics and patrol work

Chisago County Deputy Jake Johnson never had a pet growing up. Now he is the handler of Ghost, the newest member of the K-9 unit for the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office. Ghost took over for K-9 Recon who retired at the end of last year.

Johnson got Ghost on June 25, 2019, and Ghost started training on Sept. 3, 2019. He is trained for narcotics and patrol work, which is mostly human odor detecting and alerting.

Johnson came up with the name Ghost along with fellow K-9 handler for Stryker, Deputy Chad Stenson.

“We were trying to think of some names and were looking online and Ghost just popped up,” Johnson said. “I’ve never even had a pet before, so I wanted a great name.”

The first call the duo had was a building search for a burglary suspect who might have had firearms. Ghost was used to search the building and found no one inside, according to Johnson.

“Later that night, we actually had our first track for a suspect who crashed his car on the interstate just north of North Branch. One of the North Branch officers showed up and ran the license plate on the vehicle and it came back with a felony warrant out of Isanti County,” Johnson said. “The vehicle was unoccupied and footprints led away from the vehicle into a wooded area. I was requested to do a K-9 track with Ghost. He started at the footprints that we saw and it was a fairly quick track. The guy was hiding underneath a tree. As we got closer to him, he jumped up and said, ‘I don’t want to be bit.’ After that, one of my partners took him into custody.”

Johnson said it’s been great working with Ghost and also having him living with him at home.

“At home he has a kennel, and when he’s out, he hangs out with us. He’s super lovable to me and my fiancé. He’s a typical dog who wants his belly scratched and it’s really cool to be with him at home.”

Johnson started at the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office as a Reserve Deputy in the fall of 2014 and was hired as a deputy Aug. 28, 2017. He is excited to work with Ghost for many years to come. 

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